Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:
Fresh witnesses cast doubt on lockdown behaviour of UK PM’s aide
New testimony from sources suggests that Dominic Cummings, chief aide to the British prime minister, made at least two trips from London to Durham, and travelled to tourist hotspots in the north-east of England. The reports have led to a chorus of calls for the spin doctor to be sacked, including from the leaders of the Liberal Democrats and SNP, while Labour called for an urgent investigation.
Police rebut UK government claims over chief adviser
Durham constabulary have insisted they did speak to Cummings over allegations he broke the lockdown. The rebuttal came after Downing Street claimed that “at no stage was [Cummings] or his family spoken to by the police about this matter”.
New York’s daily death toll falls below 100 for first time since March
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York had recorded 84 new deaths from coronavirus on 22 May, the first time the figure has dropped below 100 since late March. He also eased the ban on group gatherings, altering restrictions to allow up to 10 people to meet up.
French death toll falls below Spain for first time in 10 days
France recorded a further 250 deaths, bringing the total to 144,806. However, after confirming several hundred deaths on Friday, Spain’s death toll stood at 28,678 on Saturday, 346 more than France. This is the first time the Spanish toll has overtaken the French for 10 days, giving Spain the world’s fourth-highest death toll after the US, Britain and Italy.
Trump causes controversy with golfing trip
Donald Trump has stirred fresh controversy after travelling from the White House to play a round of golf at his Virginia club. Despite a rising American death toll, which is now approaching 100,000, Trump has been keen to return the US to normality, and encouraging states to kickstart their economies.
UK government to put £283m into restoring public transport
The British government has announced it is investing £283m into getting public transport back to normal services, having been cut back during the coronavirus pandemic. However, transport secretary Grant Shapps said that even a fully restored service would only be capable of carrying, at best, one fifth of normal capacity, to allow for social distancing.
German religious gathering led to more than 40 infections
More than 40 people have been infected with coronavirus after attending a mass in Frankfurt earlier this month. Six were admitted to hospital. The service was held on 10 May, a few days after the reopening of places of worship in Germany, the daily Frankfurter Rundschau reported. Germany began to relax the restrictions put in place to control the spread of the virus at the beginning of May, after a strong decline in new cases, but fears remain of a second wave in the country.
India to organise special trains for migrant workers
The Indian government has pledged to organise special trains to get at least 3.6 million stranded migrant workers back to their homes. Many have been walking for hundred of miles, after becoming stranded in cities where work ceased to be available due to the pandemic.
Cyprus beaches reopen
Beaches in Cyprus have reopened, as the country marks its first day of zero new cases of coronavirus since its first cases were reported on 9 March. Residents had only been allowed to swim, but can now congregate on the beaches as long as they remain spaced apart. Only members of the same family can participate in water sports together.